Maybe you’re getting a flood of messages and engagement on LinkedIn, and you just want to take a break. Or, maybe you’re in the process of changing jobs or going through a life change, and you just don’t want to be active or discoverable on LinkedIn. Don’t worry. LinkedIn makes it easy to hide your profile so that no one can see it, not even search engines. And whenever your ready to unhide your LinkedIn profile, all you have to do is log back in and everything will be exactly as you left it.
Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.
Steps to Hide Your LinkedIn Profile
- Open a web browser, navigate to LinkedIn.com, and then sign in to your LinkedIn account if prompted. You’ll land on your LinkedIn home screen.
- Click the drop-down associated with your profile picture at the top of this screen to open a menu, and then click “Settings and Privacy” in this menu. Your LinkedIn settings screen is displayed.
- Make sure “Account Preferences” is selected in the menu on the left side of the screen. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu on the right side of the screen to the Account Management section, and then click “Hibernate Account.” Options associated with hibernating your LinkedIn account are shown.
- Choose why you want to hibernate your LinkedIn account, and then click “Next.” If you’re looking to hide your LinkedIn profile, choose “I Need a Break.” Click “Next” after making your selection. The next screen will prompt you to enter your LinkedIn account password.
- Enter the password associated with your LinkedIn account, and then click “Hibernate Account.”
The next screen will let you know that your LinkedIn account is now hibernating. Your Linked profile will be hidden and not visible to anyone, anywhere until you reactivate it. Whenever you want to reactivate your LinkedIn account, all you have to do is sign back in as usual.
Reasons to Hide Your LinkedIn Profile
1. Privacy Concerns
Privacy is a fundamental right, and in the digital age, safeguarding personal information becomes crucial. LinkedIn profiles contain detailed professional histories, potentially exposing users to identity theft or privacy breaches. People value their privacy for various reasons, from personal comfort to protecting sensitive information. Some individuals fear their data might be misused or sold to third-party companies. Others worry about stalkers or unwanted attention from their online presence. Hence, hiding a LinkedIn profile is a proactive measure to maintain control over who accesses their professional and personal details.
2. Job Search Discretion
Professionals often seek new opportunities while still employed. They prefer to conduct job searches without alerting their current employers. Having an active and visible LinkedIn profile might signal to their employer or colleagues that they are considering a change. This can lead to awkward workplace dynamics or even preemptive action by employers. Therefore, concealing their LinkedIn presence allows individuals to explore new career paths with the necessary discretion and privacy.
3. Avoiding Spam and Unwanted Contact
LinkedIn is a networking hub, but it also opens doors to unsolicited messages. Users often receive irrelevant job offers, marketing pitches, or sales inquiries. This can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Some professionals find these communications distracting and unproductive, detracting from the platform’s primary purpose of meaningful professional networking. By hiding their LinkedIn profile, they can significantly reduce such intrusions and focus on more relevant and desired interactions.
4. Online Harassment or Security Issues
Online platforms, including LinkedIn, are not immune to harassment or security threats. Users may face cyberbullying, stalking, or even threats to their safety. These concerns are particularly pertinent for individuals with high public visibility or controversial professions. Hiding their LinkedIn profile is a defensive strategy against potential online threats, ensuring their professional interactions remain safe and respectful.
5. Personal Preference or Break from Platform
Individual preferences greatly influence social media usage. Some LinkedIn users prefer a more private professional life, choosing not to share their career details broadly. Others might take a hiatus from the platform for personal or professional reasons, such as focusing on current job responsibilities or taking time off. During such periods, hiding their profile helps maintain their desired level of engagement with the professional community.
6. Professional Transition
Career transitions are pivotal moments. Professionals might pursue further education, switch industries, or start new ventures. During this phase, they might not want their profile visible, as it might not accurately reflect their current professional status or aspirations. By hiding their LinkedIn profile, they can rebrand themselves and emerge with a profile that aligns with their new professional identity.
7. Reducing Digital Footprint
In an era of digital surveillance and data commodification, reducing one’s digital footprint is a conscious choice for many. Professionals concerned about data privacy or those skeptical of social media’s role in personal data handling might opt to limit their online presence. Hiding their LinkedIn profile is a step towards minimizing their digital trace, thereby mitigating potential risks associated with data exposure.
8. Sensitive Occupation or Industry
Individuals working in sensitive fields like intelligence, law enforcement, or certain governmental roles often require anonymity for safety and security reasons. Their LinkedIn profile, if public, could reveal critical information about their roles or affiliations, posing risks to themselves or their operations. Therefore, keeping their professional profile hidden is not just a preference but a necessity to ensure their and others’ safety.